ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis)
At Kings Mill School main site we have two ABA classes for pupils with autism. Rabbits class is for key stage 1 and 2 pupils and Senior 3 class is for key stage 3 and 4 pupils. We also have an ABA provision for our sixth form students which builds on the skills learnt in Senior 3.
It is a therapy based on the science of learning and behaviour and is used to teach new skills and to work out why problem behaviours keep happening so that we can reduce them. ABA therapy applies our understanding of how behaviour works to real situations. The goal is to increase behaviours that are helpful and decrease behaviours that are harmful or affect learning.
ABA programs can help increase language and communication skills, improve attention, focus, social skills, memory and achievement and decrease problem behaviours.
We use a Verbal Behaviour approach (click for more information), teaching communication and language. It is based on the principles of ABA and the theories of behaviourist B.F. Skinner, using 'Skinner's analysis of verbal behaviour. For younger pupils there is a heavy emphasis on teaching in play situations. As pupils grow older the emphasis moves more to life skills.
A variety of assessments are used including:-
- VB-MAPP (Verbal Behaviour Milestone Assessment and Placement Programme - Sundberg
- Essentials for Living - Patrick McGreevy
Teaching is highly individualised and includes one to one teaching sessions and group activities. Each pupil has their own programme with targets selected from the above assessments. We aim to choose targets that genuinely benefit the pupils in their life.
The school is associated with the Carbone Clinic originally in New York. One of their Outreach Behaviour Analysts from the new UK clinic, Carole Roxburgh (BCBA), visits the school for a few days every term to advise staff how to teach individual pupils. For more information please visit the Carbone Clinic website http://www.carboneclinic.co.uk/
Often pupils with autism find it difficult to cooperate. We use 'effective teaching procedures' (Carbone Clinic) which enable the pupils to engage with and enjoy their teaching sessions and school life.
For many of the pupils it is important to help them become more tolerant, so that they and their families can enjoy a 'full life'. For example some pupils find it very difficult if they have to wait, or they are asked to move from one activity to another. We use a number of problem behaviour reduction procedures, which are very effective.
We are keen to work with parents and offer workshop sessions for family members (and external agencies) to help them understand the principals and procedures we use.
Typically a pupil's week will involve daily one to one intensive teaching sessions and also group sessions as appropriate to the individual for example; swimming; story activities; music; riding; sensory sessions; physical play/sport; developing skills in the community (shopping, visiting a café or the park); using a local gym; art and crafts; baking; preparing lunch.